Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Close to dining, designer boutiques, and museums
Hotel Blyss is in a residential area near Vondelpark, a popular park featuring bike paths and beautiful lawns for pickincking. Plenty of dining, shopping, and sites are within walking distance -- other attractions and the city center can be reached easily via public transportation.
Marked by cobblestone roads, street-level canals and an abundance of coffee shops (which are most often known for something other than coffee), Amsterdam is both a quiet and lively city without the pretention of European metropolises.
In the summer, visitors can enjoy live music at the Openluchttheater, an open-air venue at the Vondelpark, or the Roots Music Festival. The Gay Pride parade also takes place in the summer, and the city's many museums -- including the Van Gogh Museum or the Anne Frank House, where Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War 2 -- are popular year-round. Visitors in April can experience Queen's Day, which celebrates the queen's birthday and includes a massive flea market, parties, and outdoor concerts.
Noordermarkt is known for its antiques, and Brouwerij de Prael is a recommended stop for beer enthusiasts. Fun dining spots include the famous sandwich spot Van Dobben, as well as Pancake Bakery, which offers more than 70 types of pancakes and a slew of other breakfast goods.
The 40-room Hotel Blyss is a decent value pick in residential Vondelpark. The lobby is trendy, featuring a gas fireplace, a bar, damask-style wallpaper, rustic wood floors, and modern furniture, but it sets an expectation for the hotel that the rooms don't live up to. The rooms are quite basic (their only real design element being an accent wallpaper wall), with double beds made up of two single beds pushed together, and small (in some rooms, tiny) flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms appear reasonably cute and modern, but some can have issues, such as shower water flowing across the entire floor, or signs of muck and mold. A nicer part of the hotel is the study area, which features an Apple iMac and sleek black seating. The breakfast room has a retro vibe with a black-and-white checkered floor and red vinyl seating. When the price is right, it's a fine choice for guests who don't mind sacrificing a few frills.